Friday, February 22, 2008

A Boy Named “Sue”


Sports Illustrated does a weekly by line called “Sign of the Apocolypse” each week where they pick out some crazy statement or event in the world of sports… I have the sign for this week…


In last Fridays New York Times there was an article in the Sports section where a lawyer in St Louis, on behalf of a group of fans, has filed a lawsuit against Bill Belicheck and the New England Patriots for emotional distress caused by the Rams loss in the 2002 Super Bowl with a direct link to the rumor (not been proven yet) that the New England Patriots video taped a St Louis Rams walk through before the game… The suit claims emotional distress caused by the Rams loss and Beleichek and the Patriots gaining an unfair advantage in the game due to the taping…

If this occurred then for sure the Patriots gained an unfair advantage but did they cause emotional distress that warrants a million dollar lawsuit??? You can watch 20 game films of a team multiple times before the game… How could any lawyer or people in their right mind file such a lawsuit??? What is wrong with society that people would claim such emotional distress over a football game??? Hello, it is a football game!!!
I think I will contact my attorney this week and file suits for all of the following:
  • The PGA of America for causing me emotional distress for not getting Ryder Cup tickets for later this year…
  • Rick Pitino for not putting a man guarding the inbound passer against Duke in 92…
    Don Denkinger for the blown call that led to the St Louis Cardinals implosion and losing the World Series against the Royals in 1985…
  • The entire UK basketball team from 1984 for going 3 for 33 from the field against Georgetown in the second half of the National Semi Final…
  • Bill Buckner for letting the ball roll through his legs in the 1986 World Series…
  • Jack Clark for getting hurt at the end of the year in 1987 and not being able to play in the 1987 World Series thus costing the Redbirds a chance to win the World Series…
  • Tubby Smith for his last three seasons as coach of the UK basketball team…
  • Hal Mumme for the mess he got UK football in during his tenure…
  • CM Newton for hiring Hal Mumme
  • Rick Pitino a second time for taking the U of L coaching job…
  • Rick Pitino a third time for not putting Derrick Anderson in during the OT vs Arizona in the 1997 Championship Game…
  • Billy Gillespie for his team’s performance against Vandy
  • Rich Brooks for losing to Mississippi State and South Carolina costing UK a chance at the Peach Bowl or the Outback Bowl…

These all caused me huge amounts of emotional distress so why not file a lawsuit and effort to gain financially…

Roger Clemons, Take It to the Grave

Now that Andy Pettite has come out and said that he was not completely forthcoming with the truth and it now appears that Brian McNamee’s story has been validated by Pettie, Roger Clemons wife and former Yankee Chuck Knoblach things are not looking good for Pete Rose, I mean Roger Clemons…


Roger is too deep to ever admit now that he took performance enhancing drugs (whether he did them or not) and either he believes there is no way that anyone can ever prove he did them or he never did them… No matter what there is enough doubt out there now that he will be forever tainted… The question remains will he be tainted like McGwire and Bonds or will the Sportswriters take it easy on him and vote him into the hall... If Roger would have retired when he said he was going to the first time then he would be inducted into the Hall of Fame two years ago and now he may never get in…

You can take it to the grave if you believe you can never be found out and again Roger either did not take steroids or he believes there is no way it could ever be proven…

I am about to reveal a story that will now not be taken to the grave… I would like to say sorry to my Mom before I get started this was not normal behavior for me then and not even close now…

In 1981 during my junior year of high school the Henderson County Boys Basketball team was playing Daviess County… Daviess County was lead by a great athlete name John Worth who played basketball for a year at the University of Evansville and then finished up at Kentucky Wesylan University…

John Worth had almost single handily beaten the Henderson County Football Team the during the 1980-81 season… He was as good a football player (quarterback) as he was a basketball player but he had a really foul mouth on him and was a very cocky individual… During the game he taunted the Henderson players and had even directed some racial slurs at the Henderson Team… It was actually so bad that the Daviess County coach brought John Worth to a Henderson County practice the next week so he could personally apologize to the team… Nice try John but no one forgot what happened…

Fast Forward to the spring of 1981 to Colonel Gym where I and my comrades had been out before the game in “The Van” partaking in some whiskey drinking (I am not proud of this but this is what we did)… We were extremely fired up when we got to the game and promptly plopped down on the Daviess County side of the gym… We started letting John Worth have it… We called him every name imaginable and our behavior towards him and the Daviess County fans was appalling… I am not proud of this but that is what we did… How we were not removed from the gym is beyond me…

We knew however that we were on the edge of getting in big trouble with our Principal so we concocted a story that we were not drinking but actually had been eating candy that was liquor flavored (they actually used to sale this candy)… We even went out and purchased some of the candy that night preparing for the next day…

Since we knew it was our story against the principal’s story the only way we would get in trouble was if someone caved under questioning… The next day at school one by one we were escorted to the office and one by one we told the same story that we were just getting back at him for he (Worth) had done to us on the football field and that we were not drinking but eating the liquored favored candy…

No one caved and when it was all said and done the principal called us all back in and told us that he knew we were not telling the truth but there was nothing he could do since we all stuck to our story… He knew we were not being truthful but there was no way he could prove otherwise so we “took it to the grave”… Again, I am not proud of this but this is what we did…

Could Roger Clemons be using the same logic we did??? Time will tell…


UK Basketball

Despite what the pundits are saying Kentucky is in a position to make the tournament… If they can go 4 and 1 in the next five games and finish second in the SEC (12-4) then they should be in (18 and 11)… If they go 3 and 2 in the next five (17 and 12), finish second or third in the SEC (11-5) and win one game in the SEC then they are in… If either one of these scenarios occurs and UK does not get in then the selection process is flawed (it is flawed anyway)… They should not go far but they could make it to the sweet 16 if everything fell into place (they would certainly be a team nobody would want to play in round one)…


The early losses to Gardner Webb, San Diego and UAB are worse losses then the debacle at Vandy and are the reason this team will not win 20 games this year… This team is capable of winning all five for their remaining games but they could also go 2 and 3 in the last five, finish 16 and 13 and they are out unless the win the SEC Tourney or make the championship game…

The Georgia game was a game this team let the opportunity for a blowout get away… UK should have pounded this team as they did early in the game but they let UGA get back in late and had to gut it out… UK is so up and down, who knows at this point… Georgia is not a bad team and had a great chance to beat the orange team from down south last Saturday but they jacked up some late threes when they only needed twos…

They better be ready this Saturday for 40 minutes of PELL (John Pelphrey)!!! I will be in attendance for the first time since early December so I hope I bring them a victory!!!


Random

- Kentucky is 7 and 1 in their last eight games and 2 and 0 in their last two compared to Duke who is 5 and 2 and 0 and 2…

- Billy G continues to take some hits on his substitution patterns and playing time for his team… I have to admit it does not make allot of sense to me either… All I can say is I cannot wait until next year to see how this team performs under Billy G’s year two pattern…

- Billy G dismissed a walk on player this week the team called “Ollie” (last name Mills) and it appears he gave no explanation as to why… I am not sure if the media has asked him or if he would give an answer… The kid claimed it was a profanity-laced dismissal, which Billy G denies…

- The Jodie Meeks Mystery continues…

- Tiger disposed of Kentucky’s JB Holmes in match play after JB was up three with five holes to play… Tiger again proved why he is the best player in the world and probably best player ever…

- If it can be proven that Kelvin Sampson lied to the University or to the NCAA then he should be terminated because his integrity is an issue… If he just broke the rules again but has told the truth then he should be suspended and brought back under the infamous IU “Zero Tolerance” policy… The only comparison I can make is if I did something wrong at work and then lied about it I would be fired for integrity issues…

- Why are people not watching the NBA??? There is the thug perception but the NFL is full of thugs and people are still watching… I say the reason is the game is just not the type of basketball people want to see… I think that if the NBA followed the international rulebook the fan interest would sky rocket… They could also shorten the season by about 10 to 15 games (baseball also needs a shorter season)… At the end of the day the NBA (except for the Semi finals and the Championship) is just not very watch able… I did watch part of Shaq’s debut with the Suns against the Lakers

- I just do not watch as much NCAA basketball as I used to… If Kentucky is not playing I find myself not watching (I did watch IU and Purdue and Notre Dame Pitt this week)… There was a time in my life I would have watched Radford play Warford and been entertained… College football and PS2 (I am getting ready to finally graduate to College football 2005) has just taken over for me… Last night while I was exercising I watched Grand Valley State and Albany State play football (it was a replay on the NFL Network)…

- Next week I leave for Florida for my annual trip to the PGA’s Honda Classic (not buying tickets)… I am going to the tournament on Saturday and Sunday… Monday I am going to hang out for some Spring Training Baseball… Will probably go around the backfields and watch the action since the Redbirds are on the road that day…
- My sister Jayne sent me a text in the middle of a meeting yesterday to tell me that Dieter from the Saturday Night Live skit "Sprockets" just got on her train (she is in Germany)... When our meeting was over the people who knew the skit "danced like it was time we dance on Sprockets..." If you do not know the skit then I am sorry because it was funny as hell when we danced...

Music

The new Eddie Vedder CD is a good one and I have been listening to it more and more… There is a new music program I have found called Live at Abbey Road on IFC where groups go to the Abbey Road Studios and perform… So far I have caught The Killers and Gnarls Barkley on this program… I played guitar hero with Mark Pruitt and Billy Haynes a few weeks back and man did we suck (we were booed off the stage on almost every song)… You can get good at it with allot of practice but it is not an easy game to play (the drums are impossible)…

Friday, February 15, 2008

Let's Get It On

UK Football

I copied some stats out of the Lexington paper on last years UK Football season… These are some very impressive numbers…

If one goes back to August, a common theme in the media, on radio call-in shows, and on internet message boards was, “Kentucky will have a better team this year (than 2006) but the record might not reflect it because of the difficulty of the schedule.”


The prediction about the Kentucky opponents proved correct – UK’s strength of schedule was rated as high as No. 5 in the nation, according to the Colley Matrix computer rating that is part of the Bowl Championship Series system. Yet the Wildcats were still able to match the 8-5 record achieved during the 2006 season.
There’s additional evidence that Kentucky was an improved team in 2007. Despite its winning record, the ’06 squad was actually outscored by 22 points during the season, primarily because of two losses by large margins. The 2007 team was more competitive, sustained no blowout losses, and outscored its foes by a total of 90 points.


Here are some more nuggets on the overall season:
· Kentucky’s win over No. 1 LSU was only the third time in school history, and the first since 1964, that the Wildcats dispatched a top-ranked team.
· Kentucky returned to The Associated Press national rankings for the first time in 23 seasons, since the 1984 campaign. The Wildcats were in the rankings for eight weeks, reaching as high as No. 8. Kentucky did not finish the season in the top 25, but were third among other teams receiving votes.
· Kentucky was listed in the BCS poll for the first time in school history. The Wildcats were ranked as high as No. 7 in the BCS rating.
· Kentucky completed an eight-game home winning streak, most ever in Commonwealth Stadium.
· UK has an active streak of nine consecutive non-conference wins, the most since a 17-game non-conference win stretch from 1954-60.
· Kentucky set school records for total attendance (550,588) and average attendance (68,824). UK ranked in the nation’s top 25 in average attendance, a feat that has been achieved eight out of nine seasons since Commonwealth Stadium was expanded in 1999.
· Kentucky scored a school-record 475 points for the 13-game schedule. UK’s average of 36.5 points per game ranked fourth in the SEC and 15th nationally. On a points per game basis, the 36.5 mark ranks second in school history.
· UK has improved its scoring and total offense in all three seasons that Joker Phillips has been the offensive coordinator.

· Kentucky generated 5,764 yards total offense, the second highest total in school history. The average of 443.4 yards per game was fourth in school history. UK ranked third in the SEC in total offense, 24th nationally.
· Kentucky set a single-game record for “balanced offense” in the Eastern Kentucky game. UK had 288 rushing yards and 280 passing yards against the Colonels, the first time in school history that UK amassed at least 280 in the both categories in the same game.
· André Woodson had 3,516 yards total offense, the fourth-best single-season mark in school history and No. 9 in SEC history. He ranked second in the SEC in total offense.
· Woodson finished his career with 8,870 total offensive yards, second in school history.

· Kentucky threw for 3,743 yards, the third-highest mark in school history. UK led the SEC and finished No. 19 nationally in passing offense
· André Woodson completed 327 of 518 passes for 3,709 yards and 40 touchdowns. Each ranked in the top four seasons in school history. He led the SEC and ranked 11th nationally in passing yardage. He led the SEC and ranked third nationally in touchdown passes. The 40 TD passes set the SEC single-season record.
· Woodson finished his career with 791 completions in 1,278 attempts (.619) for 9,360 yards, 79 touchdowns, and 25 interceptions. He set the school career record for TD passes. He ranks second in school history in pass attempts and yardage and third in completions and completion percentage.
· Woodson set an NCAA record with 325 consecutive pass attempts without an interception.
· Woodson set another NCAA record with 342 consecutive pass attempts with only one interception.
· Woodson set the SEC record for lowest interception ratio in a career (min. 400 attempts). His threw 25 interceptions in 1,278 attempts, a ratio of one pickoff per 51.1 attempts.
· Woodson also ranks seventh in SEC history in pass attempts, eighth in completions, seventh in completion percentage, and fifth in touchdown passes.

· Kentucky had great receiving balance, with five players (Keenan Burton, Steve Johnson, Dicky Lyons, Jacob Tamme, and Rafael Little) catching at least 42 passes this season. Burton, Johnson, Lyons, and Tamme each caught at least 56.
· Burton led the team in receptions for the second consecutive season with 66 catches for 741 yards and nine touchdowns. He finished second in the SEC in receptions and TD catches and was eighth in receiving yardage per game.
· Burton finished his career with 189 catches for 2,376 yards and 25 touchdowns. He ranks second in school history in receiving yardage and TDs and is fourth in receptions.
· Johnson had 60 catches for 1,041 yards and 13 touchdowns. He led the SEC in touchdown receptions, was second in yards per game, and eighth in receptions. He became only the fourth player in school history to have 1,000 receiving yards in a season.
· Lyons had 56 catches for 655 yards and seven touchdowns. His career totals are 108 catches (10th in school history) for 1,488 yards (seventh in school history) and 16 touchdowns (fifth in school history).
· Tamme had 56 catches for 619 yards and six touchdowns. His career totals are 133 receptions (fifth in school history) for 1,417 yards (11th in school history) and 11 touchdowns. He is the leading pass-catching tight end in school history.
· Little had 42 receptions for 347 yards and one touchdown. His career totals are 131 receptions (sixth in school history) for 1,324 yards (12th in school history) and four touchdowns.
· Kentucky was the only school in the nation this season that had five active players who had at least 1,000 receiving yards in their careers.

· Coach Rich Brooks predicted that Kentucky would have a much-improved running game this year, and his prediction proved correct. UK rushed for 2,021 yards in 2007, 155.5 yards per game, and 4.2 yards per attempt. All three marks are UK’s best in a dozen seasons, since 1995.
· Rafael Little led the Wildcats in rushing with 190 attempts for 1,013 yards and three touchdowns. He ranked third in the SEC in rushing yards per game. It was the third consecutive season that he led the team in rushing. Little joined Sonny Collins as the only players in school history to rush for more than 1,000 yards in two seasons.
· Little finished his career with 580 carries for 2,996 yards (5.17 yards per carry) and 13 touchdowns. He ranks third in school history in rushing yardage and yards per attempt. He had 13 100-yard games as a Wildcat, second in school history.
· Derrick Locke was the team’s second-leading rusher with 521 yards and he paced the squad in rushing touchdowns with five. He had the most rushing yards for a Wildcat freshman since Chad Scott in 2000.
· Rafael Little led the team with 1,487 all-purpose yards. His average of 148.7 all-purpose yards per game ranked third in the SEC and 25th nationally.
· Little finished his career with 5,343 all-purpose yards, second in school history and seventh in SEC history.
· Keenan Burton was second on the team with 1,429 all-purpose yards. Burton finished his career with 4,045 all-purpose yards, sixth in school history.

· Under first-year defensive coordinator Steve Brown, the Kentucky defense lowered yardage allowed from 453.4 yards per game last season to 397.2 yards per game in 2007.
· The Kentucky defense had to play seven overtime periods in 2007 and there were points scored when the UK defense was not on the field. Taking those factors into account, the UK defense gave up 23.8 points per game in regulation play. Taking the same factors into account, the UK defense surrendered 27.3 points per game in regulation play a year ago.
Tackles
· Wesley Woodyard led the Southeastern Conference with 139 tackles. He ranked 17th in the nation in tackles per game.
· Woodyard reached the 100-tackle mark his last three seasons, leading the team in tackles each year.
· Woodyard finished his career with 395 tackles, seventh in school history. He was a model of consistency, making at least four tackles in the last 37 games of his career.
· Jeremy Jarmon led the team in tackles for loss with 13.5 and quarterback sacks with nine. He finished fourth in the SEC and 28th nationally in sacks per game.

· Kentucky ranked 24th nationally in fewest passing yards allowed, giving up 206.1 yards per game.
· Kentucky had 17 interceptions, most since the 1993 season.
· Trevard Lindley led the team in interceptions with three pickoffs.
· Lindley led the team in pass breakups with 11. With 23 pass breakups in his career, and two seasons left to play, he is only four PBU away from tying the school career record of 27 by Antoine Huffman.

· Keenan Burton finished his career with 67 kickoff returns for 1,715 yards, an average of 25.5 yards per return. He ranks second in school history in yardage and average yards per return.
· Rafael Little finished his career with 60 punt returns for 854 yards, an average of 14.2 yards per return. He ranks second in average yards per return and third in total return yardage.
· Lones Seiber scored 99 points, setting the single-season school record for most points by a kicker. It was the second-most total points in a season in school history.
· Seiber set two more school records by making 51 extra points, attempting 54.
· Masthay handled kickoffs and led the SEC in touchbacks with 23. Those touchbacks helped UK lead the SEC in kickoff coverage, averaging 43.9 net yards per kickoff.
Wesley Woodyard will no doubt go down as one of my favorite players of all time for Kentucky… He ranks right up there with Derrick Ramsey, Art Still and Jeff Snedekar just to name a few of my favorites…

On the recruiting front the recruiting class is exciting with several athletes, help on the o line, wide receivers and some QB prospects…
I like what I see so the Brooks meter is at 7.5 with no further movement expected until the close of the 2008 UK Football Campaign… Go Cats!!!


Roger Clemens Vs Pete Rose

Do you remember the celebrity grudge match they used to show on MTV??? It was where two cartoon characters modeled after real people would fight in a death match… I am thinking that Roger vs Pete would be a good one for this program…

I believe Roger Clemens is not being very forthcoming with the truth… There is little doubt that he used something to enhance his body besides exercise and diet and the rumors and accusations were there long before the Mitchell Report… Was it HGH or Steroids or was it some other substance??? Is HGH bad or just banned??? I give Roger credit because he did work out like a demon, as did Barry Bonds, but there is something to this and I doubt that both guys are telling the complete truth…

Steroids continues to be a black mark on baseball but everyone seems to be praising Bud Selig for the current investigation when they should be holding Bud Selig responsible for allowing this to occur on his watch... Baseball just needs to move past this issue, implement testing and let the record books reflect the era of steroids and HGH accordingly…

Thing is it appears that HGH at some point in the future will become available to the masses… Scientist are figuring out new ways to keep people alive longer and healthier longer and the general public craves this type of advancement in the scientific arena… If HGH, in controlled use, can do what people claim it can then sign me up… Seems to me to be along the lines of plastic surgery, which the masses obviously love…

I did not watch the congressional hearings on these issues this week but I believe from what is being said today there is little doubt that both Roger Clemons and Brian Mcnamee are not telling the truth… Point is we will never know the truth so move on… Nobody died, nobody lost any money, nobody got hurt and for gods sake it is baseball we are talking about…

UK Disbands Basketball Program for Year


What in the Wide World of Sports is going on here??? How could this Kentucky team loose by 41 points to Vandy… Not taking anything away from Vandy but this is not a decimated roster of kids that Vandy beat to death in the 89 season… This is a Kentucky team that had gelled, was playing well together, had overcome adversity and appeared to be poised to win ten to eleven games in the SEC… What happened???

- Patterson failed to recognize the double team at the start of the game…
- Vandy’s defense on Patterson was phenomenal…
- Stevenson played like Mark Coury…
- Mark Coury Sucks… Great kid but he is not a division one basketball player…
- Kentucky failed to make open shots and could not overcome a very aggressive Vandy defense…
- Joe Crawford forgot to get on the bus to go to the game…
- Jasper looked like he was limping badly again…
- Ramon, the only move I have is a head fake at the three-point line, Harris sucks…
- Jodie Meeks continuing injury…
- The entire Kentucky Team forgot how to play Billy G style of defense for the night…
- Kentucky was in no way ready to play this game…

This was a very disturbing performance by this Kentucky Team… I thought a win would be tough at Vandy but never expected a 41 points loss (reminded me allot of UK’s 88 to 51 win over U of L a few years back)… To be honest I never, ever, ever expect a Kentucky team to lose by this margin… Can this team move pass this whipping (I say burn the tape and forget the game was ever played)??? I sure hope so or the NIT will come calling… No shame in playing in the NIT but if Kentucky gets in they have to win it in my opinion to save face…

Kentucky has games away games with UT, USC and LSU and then home games with Ole Miss, Georgia, Arkansas and Florida… Sitting at 6 and 3 in the SEC Kentucky needs to go 4 and 3 (finish 17 and 13) and win one game in the SEC Tourney to make the NCCA Tourney… Ten SEC wins and a first round loss in the SEC tourney and the bubble bursts… Nine wins in the SEC and two wins in the SEC tourney and they still have an outside chance…

On another interesting note the pundits are labeling this the biggest win in the history of Vandy basketball… I am not buying that one… I think Vandy knocking off Number 1 Kentucky is a memorable win but beating a 12 and 9 Kentucky team at home in a game they should win (no matter what the margin) does not compute for me…

Random

- Happy 13th birthday to my nephew Matt... Hard to believe he is a teenager... I welcomed him to the teenage era by kicking his butt three straight times on PS2 NCAA College Football 2008 but he is getting better at it for sure... My new niece celebrated her 3 month birthday recently, my grandmother turned 91 (she and my grandfather will celebrate 75 years of marriage later this year) and my sister Jayne celebrated her birthday last month... In a month I will turn 30 for the 14th time...
- I am working out heavy (three to four times a week) preparing myself for a return to the golf links sometime in May (That will be 15 months off the course and who would have ever thought I could have survived not playing)… I am going to start practicing in mid April and work my slowly back onto the course…

- ESPN's Jimmy Dykes needs a fist sandwich… This guy is horrible!!! He is a worse announcer then he was a coach… He no doubt has a slant against Kentucky and as far as I am concerned since he was associated with Eddie Sutton and an assistant at Kentucky with Sutton he is not welcome in Rupp Arena and the fans should let him have it the next time he is there…

- The last time I checked whether you loose by 1, 21, 31 or 41 it still only counts as one loss…

- The Kelvin Sampson deathwatch is on… IU should fire him now and then bring back The General to finish out the season as interim coach…

- "F" The Ryder Cup and PGA of America… Since I was snubbed on tickets by the PGA despite buying four individual tickets for all three PGA events that were held at the Valhalla in the last twelve years and the fact that I used to purchase tickets every to the old Senior PGA event in Lexington I have vowed I will never buy a ticket to a PGA event ever again… I will attend if someone gives me ticket (as I will attend the Honda Classic later this month for free thanks to my buddy Coop) but otherwise I am done… The only two events I have any interest in attending that I will pay money for is The Masters and US Open which are both non PGA tour events…


Music

My wife and I watched a special on Allison Krauss and Robert Plant the other night and the album they did together is really some fantastic music… My wife and my sister are going to see them at the Louisville Palace in April (They are doing two sold out shows)… I watched the Grammy’s and enjoyed the Foo Fighters and the Amy Winehouse performance but they rest of the show was really allot of fluff… I think that Beyonce, Alisha Keys and Rhianon are the same person as they sure sound line it… I like Beyonce when she gets funky!!!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Joe Crawford, My Hero???

Awesome Super Bowl

If you are truly a fan of football then you had to appreciate the way the Giants and Patriots game was played for the Super Bowl… Great defense, some awesome and timely plays on offense by both teams and a great last minute drive by the Giants to win the game… Give the Patriots their due they are a great team, which will make this victory by the Giants one of the greatest Super Bowl upset of all time (Jets over Colts still number one in my book)…

Believe it or not I had said for two weeks that I thought the Giants were going to win due their style of play (conservative smash mouth type of offense and great defense) and the fact that they had played the Patriots late in the regular season… Their defense was special all year with a mix of very young (two rookies start on defense) and very talented veteran players and they have the style of offense that will win games at that level on a consistent basis… I did not think the game would have a similar score as the 38 to 35 game these teams had during the season but I thought it would be a 24 to 20 type of contest…

The Giants and Patriots play very different styles of aggressive defenses due to the differences in their offensive schemes… The Giants ran allot Nickel and Dime defense with blitzes from the corners and nice penetration up the gut by their tackles… The Patriots play a 3 4 which puts allot of responsibility on the linebackers… They also play aggressive with allot of blitzing which the Giants did a nice job of picking up these blitz packages during the game…

Eli Manning played a fantastic game once again… His decision making was superb and his playing calling on the final drive was outstanding… Getting out of the sack situation was key and Tyree made a great catch on the play to keep the drive moving… He made a nice throw to Steve Smith on that drive and Smith did a great job of getting out of bounds after getting a key first down… Eli showed poise and leadership…

All game the Giants did a nice job of running the ball and they had some great play calls during the game including the play action touchdown pass, the TD pass to Plaxico and the Giants longest rushing play from scrimmage on a 13 yard gain in a key second half spot… Most of the credit however goes to the Giant defense who stepped up at every opportunity except the Patriots last drive when they were simply out of gas…

Take nothing away from the Patriots… They are a great team and Tom Brady is one of the greatest QB’s in the history of the game... He has and always has a had a great line in front of him giving him plenty of time to make reads and good throws but his decision making in the pocket is impressive much like Joe Montana or Joe Namath during his hey day…

Hiring of Joker Phillips

I think it was a smart move for UK to announce that Joker Phillips would be the heir apparent to Rich Brooks… With continued success Joker has been moving up the list for other potential head coaching jobs at the college level and since he runs a pro style offense the NFL could come calling in a coordinator role… With the Cowboys offense coordinator raising the bar on Salary for coordinators (the average is about $300,000 and he is getting about 1.8 million $$$) the impact will be felt across the NFL and College the next few years I believe…

Joker is a Kentucky guy… He played on some of Jerry Claiborne’s better teams and I am sure he learned a great deal from Coach Claiborne… He coached under Bill Curry and Lou Holtz in college so his experiences should play out well for Kentucky in the future… Naming Joker the heir apparent will be great for recruiting because no one knows how long Brooksy will stay at UK and that could be used against the University on the recruiting trail…

Joker still has allot to learn and I do not think he is ready to take over today but with a couple more years of seasoning he should be ready for the challenge… I wish that Kentucky could find a way to keep Randy Sanders on staff also but that will be a tough one…

This is somewhat of a roll of the dice also… Kentucky is in a position today that they could hire a hot coach with head coaching experience if Brooks left now or if Brooks continues to have success building this program up vs. taking a guy with no head coaching experience… We will see how this plays out but I am good with the decision for now…

Next year will be a telling season in the progression of UK Football and whether or not Brooks has them in a position to be competitive year in and year out… Most of UK’s coaches (Bear Bryant excluded) have had a few really good teams but were unable to sustain any consistency (Jerry Claiborne was consistent)… My early line is 4 and 8 with 6 and 6 being a best case scenario… At 6 and 6 you would think this team is competitive but 4 and 8 may be a little tough to sell… Win seven games again, go to a bowl then this guy is coach of the year/decade…

Brooks meter is at plus 7… I like the recruiting class the UK has brought in for football... More on that next time...

UK vs. Miss St

The UK vs. Miss St game was one of the most poorly officiated games I have watched in some time… The big boy for Mississippi State that was blocking all of the shots fouled on at least five of those efforts (reputation as a “shot blocker” is why these calls were not made)… Three times he fouled with the body (one of those was when Billy G got a “T”) and on two others he had his hands all over Patterson before making the block… Hand checking is illegal…

Joe Crawford – Joe is playing well but needs to be a little more aggressive on offense…

Smooth – Looked good again in this game but how can he keep playing the amount of minutes he is playing???

Patterson – Where would UK be without this kid???

Coury, Porter, Harris, Carter and Williams (he never plays) area all reasons why I am glad that Tubby Smith is not our coach any longer!!!

UK vs. Florida

Based on the way that UK had played its prior two games I thought this was a game that UK could and should win… Florida is not that experienced, does not have allot of size and does not shoot free throws well…

I think that Billy G should be playing Stewart and Porter at least 6 to 8 minutes a game (in two to three minute spurts each)… These minutes of rest for Bradley and Crawford would greatly impact the end of games which is why Kentucky lost this game… There was so much effort put into getting to OT they had nothing left for OT in this game…

Outside of playing time for some of the other players I believe this team has now bought what Billy G is trying to teach… The schedule is so stacked at this point I still think that it is too late for UK finish better then .500… Less then .500 means no NIT but there is a third post season tournament this year that would no doubt take UK as a participant…

I would like to think this team has a magical SEC Tourney run in them but you cannot win four games in four days playing six people… This team makes the semis but they are still not as good as Florida, Tennessee, Vandy, Mississippi State or Arkansas (forty minutes of PEL) due to lack of depth…

UK vs. the Orange Team

I felt confident that UK was going to make a nice showing based on how the team had played against Vandy, Miss St and Florida… On my way home I listened to the naysayer’s talk about how UK was going to loose by twenty, getting five points and the orange team was the lock of the year for the bettors out there and then of course my favorite “I hope we keep it close”… I found myself yelling at the radio saying, “Come on people, The Cats are going to win and I know they believe they are going to win…” It is nice to have my passion and confidence back…

Like anyone else I was wondering what the hell was going on in Lexington… The rumors about Billy G and his after hours behavior, practices that were complete hell on the players on game day, crazy substitution patterns, people not playing who should be playing, people playing who should not be playing, injuries to two key players and the fact that I had my post season UK Football hang had me confused to say the least…

Billy G is out every night that is for sure… The man has got to eat… He is single and as he stated, “I don’t cook” so with his money he can afford to eat out every night if he wants and that is what he does… As for the team I think that Billy G broke them down and is now in the process of building them back up… Can this team finish second in the SEC??? Can they get to the NCAA Tournament??? They have some tough games coming up and if they can win all the home games beat Georgia, LSU and USC on the road then they are in…

Off of that subject… The only thing better then beating Roy Williams and that light blue team from the ACC is beating that orange team from the SEC and their coach Bruce Pearl… Pearl gives Kentucky allot of respect and allot of props but something about this guy just rubs me the wrong way…

In this game I thought that Kentucky played as hard as I have ever seen a Kentucky team play… Win or lose this team was going to leave it all on the court when the game was over and they did… Their defense was as good as I have seen them play this year and Patrick Patterson is such a difference maker not just because of talent but because of effort… Son just keep playing that hard and you will be a legend in this program even if you only stay two or three years…

Perry Stevenson was a huge difference in this game also… I like a guy who catches it and then just does nothing else but dunk… Stevenson’s improvement is another major difference in the recent success of this team…

Go Big Blue!!! I am back in the game and it feels good…

Smooth and Joe

I have always been a Smooth fan… I thought he had great freshmen and sophomore seasons but lacked a little during his junior campaign because he was playing out of position… Smooth was really taking allot of heat this year because he was the guy who always had the ball…

If you do not like Smooth now then you are not looking deep enough into this guy’s contribution… He has played all but one minute the last six games, he leads the SEC in free throw shooting percentage and most importantly he is 24 of 26 inside the last five minutes of the last six games including 10 for 10 against that Orange team… As mentioned earlier…

In the UK vs. that orange team game Smooth put the clamp down on Chris Lofton in the second half shutting him out in the second half for seventeen minutes… Smooth is now doing exactly what Billy G wants him to and that is why he is getting the minutes he is getting in games… The boy is building himself a nice legacy and even the Smooth haters are starting to come around… Atta boy Smooth…

I have never been a Joe Crawford fan… He had made his way to first on my list of my least favorite players at Kentucky all time just ahead of Sean “Dribble Backwards Down the Court” Sutton… I am happy to report that Sean Sutton is back on top and Derrick Hord is back in second…

Joe has played great the last five games… He has played some defense for the first time in his career and his two in a row three point shots against that Orange team were back breakers… All of this while being hurt too!!! Atta boy Joe and keep going to the hole…

After the Auburn game I am convinced that after three and a half years Joe gets it!!!

UK vs. Georgia

I do not like the way Georgia plays… It is a very physical defensive style and they play with allot of aggression… Take the hard foul that knocked Bradley out of the game which by rule should have been and intentional foul based on the explanation that UK got from the SEC on the intentional foul that was called on Derrick Jasper during the USC game (Jaspers foul involved no blood, no stitches or a concussion)…

I would take Gaines on my team… He is a solid slasher to the basket and knows how to kick the ball out… They have a couple of nice inside players also…

UK showed allot of guts winning this game with either Bradley or Meeks playing… Porter played nice, Stevenson continues to improve and Take it to the Hole Joe is playing with tremendous effort… Patterson may be the best freshmen ever at UK which to this point has been Mashburn in my book…

UK needs 7 and 3 with a win in the SEC tournament (would put them at 18 total) or 6 and 4 with two wins in the Sec tourney to make the NCAA…

Adolph Rupp

I know I have blogged some of this before but if you have not seen the movie Glory Road save yourself some time or if you want to see how Hollywood stretches a story then give it a shot… The movie is way off and not based on allot of fact according to people who actually participated in the game…

The players on Texas Western team played together more then just that one year…

  • The movie shows this was the African Americans first year on the team…
  • The crowd was not given small rebel flags to wave during the game as depicted in the movie… Larry Conley who played in the game said no one dunked and he never remembered seeing any Rebel flags…
  • No one dunked during the game as shown in the movie...
  • Rupp did not allow sportswriter Frank Deford into the locker room before the game so his statements that Rupp made a derogatory comment about the Texas Western team before the game because they were African Americans cannot be substantiated…
  • Both Pat Riley and Larry Conley said that Rupp was prejudice only against bad basketball players and that Rupp for sure would never left anyone other then the players and coaches in the locker room…
  • Larry Conley and Pat Riley said that is was five or six years after the game was played before they were ever even asked about playing in that game and the social significance that the game was tagged with years after the game was played… They said they never remember anyone at the tournament discussing anything about race, etc…

The other two teams that made the Final Four that year had all white rosters (no reference was ever made to this in the movie)…

Many people believe that Rupp was a racist… I think Rupp was a product of his time… Could he have done more for integrating the SEC??? Sure he could have but Rupp was a basketball coach and did not want to be a champion for civil rights which is his choice to make… Much like Tiger Woods today who is a golfer and has no desire to be a champion for civil rights so he gets called and Uncle Tom behind his back or much like Michael Jordan or OJ Simpson in the old days of OJ…

Something else that never gets printed about Rupp and the University of Kentucky is that six times in the late 50’s and early 60’s the SECOND place finisher in the SEC, the Kentucky Wildcats, represented the SEC in the NCAA tournament (back then only the conference winner advanced to the tourney)… Why??? Because the team that finished first would not go to the tournament because their players would have to play against African Americans…

That my friend is an inconvenient truth!!!

Random Thoughts

- With Smooth and Meeks both out Kentucky has won both games… How much of this is Derrick Jasper???

- The Giants first possession of the game was the longest single possession in Super Bowl History… What are the odds that quarterbacking brothers (other then the Manning’s) will win back to back Super Bowls or better yet even play in back to back Super Bowls again…

- I spent the weekend with my grandparents two weeks ago… On Friday night we were at my grandmother and grandfathers place… I was thumbing through my grandmother’s high school annual and was fascinated by the pictures, the attire of the students and the recaps of the teams Sports Season… The Basketball team made it to the State Tournament that year and their center set a Kentucky Record for the time scoring 269 points during the season… The football team finished 4 and 4 employing the “shift” offense for the first time… I asked my grandmother if she knew the school fight song and she began to sing it (she knew every word) and when she did my grandfather who has allot of trouble just moving around promptly set up in his chair, mouthing every word with her and pumping his fist the entire time… It was such a cool thing to see and helps me understand where my mom’s passion and my passion for sports originated from…

- I forgot the Patriots were undefeated until the fourth quarter… I never watched one minute of Super Bowl hype for two weeks so that is probably the reason… Allot was made of that accomplishment but they finish 18 and 1 to match the 1 loss Bears… I will take Stablers Raiders against any Super Bowl Team with the Bears, Steelers, Dolphins, 49’ers and Patriots close behind…

- USA Today did a best list of New York and Boston in honor of the Super Bore… For Boston and New York they listed the most famous athlete as Babe Ruth which is not fair at all to Boston considering the choices of Ted Williams, Phil Espisito or Bill Russell (they did have a picture of Russell)… They also listed Bon Jovi as the best New York band (they did list him is Jersey based) and they should have listed The Ramones who were all New York City natives… Also found out the Redskins were first the Boston Redskins and the first New York professional franchise was baseballs New York Mutuals… The Yankees were first the New York Highlanders so I am not sure where the Mutals fit in (I own a Boston Patriots t-shirt a 1911 replica New York Highlanders hat)…

- Also on the list was the New York (baseball Giants) goat (Buckner was the Boston goat) Fred “Bonehead” Merkle… In the 9th inning of a regular season game against their rival the Cubs with two out and a runner on third the confusion started when Merkle, the runner on first, failed to touch second after an apparent game-winning base hit. Instead, he turned back toward the dugout, as was customary at the time, when he saw the run cross the plate. As the happy
Polo Grounds crowd filed across the field towards the centerfield gate, second baseman Johnny Evers got the ball and stepped on second, claiming a force out which negated the winning run. With the fans already crowding the field, the game could not be played to a decision, and had to be replayed later in the season and Giants lost the game and the Pennant sending the Cubs to their last World Series triumph in1908 against Cobb’s Tigers…

- Packers are an amazing franchise… Only 100,000 people in the city of Green Bay… Packer’s season ticket holders are divided into two groups, Green Bay Season ticket holders and Milwaukee season ticket holders… They both get four games so I am curious to find out how they decide who gets playoff game tickets… There were ten of twelve new season ticket holders in Green Bay this year and the people who got their tickets signed up for them in 1970!!!

- Baseball owners are making a big mistake in renewing the contract of Bud Selig... This guy turned his head when his leadership could have ended the steroid era before it ever stated… Owners do not care about the history of the game they only care about the balance sheet… Baseball is headed for a fall!!!

- Do you miss Dicky V??? I do not… His time has expired… Next!!! Speaking of announcers the guy who did the play by play on TV for the Vandy game (Gus Johnson) does a great job and is 29 times better then Jim Nance…

- Andre Woodson will be a late first or second round pick in the NFL draft… To me that is a good spot for him and will allow him to get with a team who will not rush him into a starting role… This will allow him to learn the game and the speed of the NFL… It is pretty much proven that most quarterbacks who come to the NFL and start right away are not as successful as the ones who do not… Word is now that he has slipped to the second round…

- I really got a big kick out of Joker Phillips comment to his mom during his press conference when he said, “Hey Mom, how come you did not tell me I was African American…” Race played no factor in this hiring and that is progress!!! Kentucky does deserve some positive press from this since they were the only division one school who had African Americans filling both coordinator spots on the staff and the fact that Joker is the second African American head coach in the SEC but they are not getting it from the national media which may be a good thing!!!

ShagOnMusic

Kings of Leon!!! Buy every CD they have… They performed on Austin City Limits the other night and they are labeled as a Southern Rock Band (don’t see that but that is what they said)… The new Eddie Vedder CD is awesome also…